Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gooey Almond and Coconut Chex Mix

When I saw this recipe on Six Sisters' Stuff I may have drooled all over my keyboard.  Since I had some girlfriends coming over for a little holiday gathering I figured it would make a great gift for share.  Um, they weren't kidding, this stuff IS super addicting!  Luckily I remembered to keep some for myself.  It was super easy to prepare and I was able to get 7 good sized containers out of this recipe.  (and even had enough to snack on in the process!)  If you're looking for something outside of the standard Chex mix treats we're used to, give this one a try.  It's FAB!!

Gooey Almond and Coconut Chex Mix

1 (14 oz-17 oz) box of Rice OR Corn Chex cereal
1 (7 oz) bag of sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cup +/- of almonds (about 1 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) margarine or butter
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 bag +/- of mini marshmallows
Christmas sprinkles (optional)
Dash of salt

Spray a LARGE (the biggest you can find!) bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in the Chex cereal, coconut, and almonds. Gently mix together.

Mix together the sugar, butter, light corn syrup, and dash of salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a full boil, turn heat down to medium, and cook for three minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over the cereal mixture in the big bowl and stir evenly.  Gently mix in the mini marshmallows.  (If you add them before, they will melt too much.)

Spread cereal evenly on parchment, shake desired amount of sprinkles on top, and let cool.
Once it cools, you can package it up as you'd like.  I filled containers of holiday Gladware and tied a pretty bow on them to five to friends.  It was a HUGE hit!  Don't forget to keep some for yourself!  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Oh my YUM!  These Mexican style stuffed shells were DELISH!  A little odd in concept you may think, but oh so perfect in taste.  I've seen a few similar versions of this dish floating around Pinterest, but I'll credit the site that I first Pinned over a year ago from BlogChef.net.  I served these tasty stuffed shells on a bed of shredded cabbage, dressed very lightly with a bit of oil, vinegar, salt & pepper.  On the side I made some homemade Spanish rice & smashed black beans.  Also for topping I had sour cream and avocado.  I loved this meal and had leftovers for the next 2 days.  Even Mr. B who is typically anti leftovers was happy to have them for dinner a second night.

So, if you're in the mood for something a little different from the regular, but with very familiar flavors, give this one a try.  You won't be disappointed.  Enjoy!

Mexican Stuffed Shells
Adapted from BlogChef.net

lb ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 package taco seasoning
1 8 once package cream cheese
12 +/- large pasta shells
1 lg can of red enchilada sauce*
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
small can of sliced black olives (optional)

Cook the pasta shells according to directions.  Once done, drain and toss well with butter.  Meanwhile...

While pasta is cooking, prepare ground turkey.  Add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Remove from heat and add cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to cool.
Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and cover the tops of the shells with remaining enchilada sauce.

Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, uncover, and top with shredded cheese and black olives. Cook for about 15 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, salsa, green onions or whatever you think goes good with tacos!

*In my opinion most canned enchilada sauce tastes like crap.  The only brand of canned sauce I've found that I like is Old El Paso.  If you don't want to use canned, you can of course make your own!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hi friends!  Have you been getting cash back for your online purchases?  If not, what the heck is wrong with you???  I just did some of my Christmas shopping and added some more money to my next check in the mail!

If you aren't familiar with Ebates, you should be.  You get cash back on almost EVERY online purchase.  This is stores you already shop at!  Macy's, Target, Nordstrom, Best Buy, you name it.  It's free, I've yet to find a single downfall for signing up since I've joined in July.  And I recently received my 2nd check in the mail!

Click here to sign up:


*Note: Ebates does not pay me to say this.  All opinions expressed are my own :)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Loaded Potato Soup

It's that time of year when I could eat soup for lunch every day & dinner every night!  I love a good bowl of hot soup!  Mr. B's favorite is a good potato soup.  I've been playing with a few recipes since I haven't mastered my mom's yet.  I saw this recipe by the Neely's on Food Network and decided to give it a try.  It was delish.  I completely pureed the soup to give it a nice silky consistency and then topped it with sour cream, crumbled bacon, chopped green onions, and hot sauce.  Everyone was looking for seconds!  Enjoy!

Loaded Potato Soup
Serves 4-6

4 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 8 ounces)
Dash hot sauce
Dash Worcestershire
Sour cream, for topping
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for topping

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and saute in butter until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and continue to stir for 2 minutes to toast the flour. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Gradually whisk in the stock, then the milk and the beer. Stir in the potatoes and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potato is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to low heat. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until melted and smooth after each addition. Season the soup, to taste, with hot sauce, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper.

Divide the soup among bowls and top with sour cream, crisp bacon and chopped chives.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

French Dip Rollups

These little guys were SO easy to make and SUPER yummy!  You can customize them so many ways.  I wanted to go french dip style so I chose to do deli sliced roast beef and shredded cheddar.  I can think of so many different combinations that would be great too.  Pepperoni & mozzarella, turkey and Swiss, the possibilities are endless.

To make the french dip style here's what I did:

French Dip Rollups

1 can crescent rolls
sliced roast beef
shredded cheddar cheese
au jus

Roll out your crescent roll dough and lay triangles flat.  Top each triangle section with some of your meat and cheese.

Roll up and place on a baking sheet.  and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  While in the oven, heat or mix your au jus.  (Note: you are not seeing things, in the picture I thickened my au jus to make it more like brown gravy.  You can do what ever suits your mood.)  Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

DIY Napkin Rings

These adorable napkin rings were SO easy to make.  I needed to make 31 of them for a bridal shower, so they did end up taking a LONG time to complete, but I feel like the finished product was well worth the time.  They did not go unnoticed.  A few people even asked if they could take a set home.  Seeing as I have no need for 31 napkin rings I was more than happy to let them go, as long as I got to keep a set for myself!!! :)

You only need three things to make these little cuties:
1.) Rope/Jute
2.) Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
3.) A loaded hot glue gun and plenty of ammo

They ended up costing me about $5 which was the price of the rope/jute material.  I had been saving toilet paper rolls for a while with visions of a completely different, unrelated craft in mind.

Cut your cardboard rolls in to desired width rings.  (I made the first one pretty wide & while it looked fine, it took too much time.  I quickly realised that smaller rings ended up looking just as nice.)

Begin gluing & wrapping around your ring. 

Once you reach the end, just spiral it down to the next row.

And tada!  You've got hand made adorable napkin rings that end up costing pennies!  How adorable would these look on your Thanksgiving table!!

Don't Forget the Cranberry Sauce!

My favorite holiday recipes wouldn't do you much good this year if i waited until after T-day to post them right??  So here's another blast from my holiday past...
I've been making homemade cranberry sauce for our holiday meals for as long as I can remember.  I was given a traditional family recipe to make when I was around 10.  Over the years I've switched it up a little here and there.  In the past I would add fresh raspberries (which I still think is great) but last year I tried adding some fresh chopped pear.  The fresh pears complement the cranberries so well!  I absolutly enjoyed the different texture.  I was so pleased that I will be doing it again this year.

If you've never had homemade cranberry sauce you should give it a try.  It doesn't take long to make and it is so much better than the stuff from the can! You can even make it a few days in advance.  (Dontcha just love make in advance recipes!)  Give it a try, you're family will be so impressed by your fancy skills!  Enjoy!

Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup +/- water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, add together OJ, sugar, pears, cranberries and enough water to just come to the top of the fruit. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, add honey and cinnamon. Continue to cook until cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cool to room temperature, then store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

The countdown to turkey day is on!  Are you ready to get your aprons on?  I don't know about you, but in my holiday meal experience those final minutes in the kitchen tend to be a bit on the hectic side.  Chances are you've got ten thousand people in the kitchen, there's a giant bird to be carved, gravy to be made, rolls to be burned warmed... you know all those last minute things that can't be done in advance.  One of the things we scratched of the list years ago in our family was mashing the potatoes.  This recipe is SUPER basic, and WAY too delicious!  The greatest part, all the time consuming stuff can be done the day before.  All you have to do the day of the big meal is throw it in the oven and enjoy!  Do this, you'll thank me!

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs Potatoes, peeled & cut
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Half & Half
½ Cup Butter, + more for top
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Season Salt
1 tsp Regular Salt
1 tsp White Pepper

Boil & drain potatoes.

Mix Cream Cheese and half & half until creamy, add hot potatoes & beat. Add melted butter & seasonings; beat well.

Spread in 9” x 13” baking dish. (Can be done the night before up to this point.)
Top with melted butter & paprika. Bake 35 - 45 min @ 350 degrees.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BBQ Chicken Sliders

These little buggers were so tasty, we had them two nights in a row.  Typically it is near impossible for me to get Mr. B to agree to leftovers.  He'd usually rather have a PB & Pickle Sandwich (ick) than what ever tasty dish we ate the night before.  This time however, I told him I was in the mood to reheat & eat & he said, "sounds good."  - What??? did I hear that correctly?  Sure did, so two nights in a row it was!

First of all, this pulled pork style BBQ Chicken couldn't get much easier.  I threw a few ingredients in the crockpot in the am, 8 hours on low, left for work, and came home to dinner practically done.  I had some tasty dinner rolls to make them "sliders" and I threw together a quick batch of the bestie's delicious recipe for Bleu Cheese Coleslaw & dinner was on the table.

BBQ Chicken Sliders
The recipe made enough chicken for at least 12 sliders, you can change amount to suit your needs

4-6 Chicken Breasts
1/2 chopped onion (Update: I made this again without the onion and I actually preferred it.  It was a bit too sweet with the onion added.)
1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce
1 beer
a few shakes of hot sauce +/-
ground pepper

dinner rolls or buns
cheese (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients in your crockpot.  Set on low for 8 hours.

Remove chicken from crockpot & shred.  See THIS post for my easy chicken shredding method.  Once shredded, you can add back in as much or as little of the sauce as you desire.

Assemble your sliders, serve with this yummy coleslaw, and ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos

When I saw this recipe from Chef-in-Training on Pinterest I may have drooled all over my keyboard.  It looked SO good, I knew I had to taste it.  When I made it yesterday & got to actually taste it, I couldn't have been more pleased!  It was probably one of the best things I've ever made.  Yeah I really just said that.  ONE OF THE BEST THINGS... and I've made A LOT of things.  Maybe it was how simple they were to make that added to the their AMAZING taste to put them on my top ten list.  Maybe they were just so delicious that they caused me to forget every tasty thing I've ever made before.  Either way, they were DELISH!!!  I would love to eat these again and again and again!  No really, they were that good.  Honestly better than anything like this I've had from a restaurant.

Oh and can I take a minute to talk about how easy they were to make.  Hello, the crock pot!  I love crock pot cooking.  Toss it all in and come home after work & it smells like someone has been in your kitchen slaving away all day.  I've been using my crock pot quite a bit lately.  It may be my favorite kitchen gadget.

Do yourself a favor, make these.  Trust me, it's way to simple to be so darn good!

Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos

1 1/2 lbs stew meat
1lg can or 2 small cans red enchilada sauce (I used 1 of can of El Paso Mild)

2 beef bullion cubes, crushed
1 beer* (any kind will do, I used a bottle of Coors Light)
refried beans
burrito size tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese

Put beef into crock pot. Top with crushed bouillon cubes, enchilada sauce, & beer*. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until meat is very tender.

When beef is done it will start to break apart.  I wanted mine less chunky & more shredded so I used the handy dandy kitchen aid mixer method I use for chicken.  Beautifully shredded!  If you want more "chunks" to your meat, you can skip this step.
Heat the refried beans separately. You can use canned refried beans or homemade if you prefer.  Whole beans would be tasty too if that is what you are in the mood for.

Desired amount of beans on to the center of each tortilla. Add about 1/2 cup of beef (give or take) a little cheese, and roll into a burrito.  (Shout out to Mr. Casa de Soria for teaching me how to roll burrito perfection!)

Place burritos into a baking pan. Pour some of extra sauce over the top of the burritos to smother them and sprinkle with cheese on top.

Broil until cheese becomes bubbly, approx. 2-4 minutes.

This recipe makes about 5-7 burritos depending on how big you make them.
*They use of the beer is optional. I love the addition of beer to most marinades and crock pot dishes.  I highly suggest you give it a try.  Don't worry, the alcohol cooks off, so you wont get drunk! ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pinterest Fail: Coke Toilet Cleaner

You may have seen the Pin claiming that a simple soak with Coke will take away all your toilet ring blues.  Well, I decided to give the beverage a shot and glug, glug, glug, into the bowl it went.  After a few hours of soaking, some scrubbing with a toilet brush, and a couple of flushes, I am sad to report that the ring (which was not too bad to begin with) got WORSE!  Argh!  The brown color of the soda seemed to make the ring darker. 

I wouldn't give this one a shot if I were you.  I'd consider this myth busted.  Back to bleach for my toilet cleaning needs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cute as a Button: How to Make Fondant Buttons

A friend of mine requested cupcakes for a baby shower with pink & black buttons.  Now i know you could go and purchase fondant molds that would turn out perfect little buttons, but why bother when you can make them with items you probably already have if you do any kind of cupcake decorating.  I went through my various piping tips and found 3 different sizes that would be perfect for my needs.

First I tinted my fondant to the desired colors (I did some pink & some black) and rolled it out to the desired thickness.  Then, using the wide ind of a piping tip, I cut out circles. 

Next, using a smaller sized tip gently press in the inner circle.  Be careful not to go all the way through. 

Finally, using the smallest tip you have make for small holes in the center.

Use them to decorate how ever you need and your cupcakes will be cute as a button.

*Please note:  I recommend making these at least one or more day(s) in advance, so that your fondant had time to dry. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go Giants!

Opening Weekend at AT&T Park

Little Sis & I at a game

The brick @ AT&T Park we got our Dad for Father's Day last year


We're off to SF tonight to see the Giants/Padres game.  I'm super excited!  We haven't been to a game since opening weekend (gasp! whaaat???) do to what has seemed to be the busiest summer we've ever had.  Little sis from Reno shall be here shortly, then we'll scoop up Mr. B & his buddy and head to the city to see my favorite boys in Black & Orange.  Garlic fries here we come :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

I saw THIS recipe on SkinnyTaste.com and knew it had to grace my kitchen.  I love stuffed cabbage and this is a great way to capture all the essence with out all the tedious rolling and stuffing.  Unfortunately I discovered after I spent all the time making it, that Mr. B does not share my love for cabbage, but oh well more for me!

I will definitely make this again (probably when the Mr. is not around one night).

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lb. 95% lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese  (I used a combo of cheeses I had on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray.  In a large pan on medium heat; cook ground meat until it's browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground meat. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces.  Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.

Layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.  Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese.  Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Best Shredded Chicken

Remember this post?  Well if you do, think of this post as a reminder to make this tasty chicken.  If you missed this one, you can thank me for the repost after you've made this tasty & EASY dish!

It doesn't get any easier than this tasty Mexican style shredded chicken! On a hot day there's nothing better than coming home to a dinner that it practically done. Hot, delicious & no need to turn on the oven! How so? The crockpot! Most of the time we tend to only pull out the crock pot during the cold winter months... but warm days are perfect for your slow cooker, since it doesn't heat up the kitchen. And with the beautiful weather outside, anything that minimizes the time spent in the kitchen preparing dinner is a friend of mine!

I decided to pull this together for Football Sunday dinner with some friends.  In the morning, I threw all my ingredients in the crockpot... then we went about our busy day.  Came home that afternoon and the house smelled great! A few quick steps at that point and dinner was on the table no time.

Simple Shredded Chicken
(This can easily be doubled - this amount fed 4 of us with leftovers)
3 to 4 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
1 jar of salsa
1 beer
desired seasonings (optional)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. I chose a medium heat salsa that happened to be on sale.  In the past I've used one w/ black beans and corn.  Any salsa will do.  For the seasonings I went with a couple tsp of my homemade taco seasoning, fresh ground pepper, garlic, and some sriracha for a little extra kick. The lid went on & I set it to low for 8 hours, since that's when we would be ready for dinner.  You can certainly put it on high for 6 hours with great results as well.

When I got home, I removed the chicken from the crock pot and dropped them into my Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mixed for a few seconds and had perfectly shredded chicken.  (So easy this way!  no need to stand there with 2 forks shredding, or burning your fingers.)

Return chicken to crock pot and and all those yummy juices while you prepare whatever it is you'd like to use this yummy filler for! We had chicken tacos & burritos. I warmed some tortillas, shredded some cabbage and whipped up some smashed black beans and Mexican rice. Served with desired toppings and we had a fantastic meal! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I had bread bowls and I had broccoli...  what to do, what to do?  I turned to the ever so popular Pioneer Woman for inspiration & came upon this recipe.  I could eat soup anytime of year.  This soup was incredibly simple to make and oh so delicious!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 Onion, Diced
1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter
1/3 cup Flour
4 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Half-and-half
4 heads Broccoli Cut Into Florets
1 pinch Nutmeg
3 cups Grated Cheese (mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Etc.)
Small Dash Of Salt (more If Needed)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Chicken Broth If Needed For Thinning

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so.  Slowly add in milk and half-and-half, stirring while adding. Add nutmeg, broccoli, salt, and black pepper.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.  You will want to stir periodically.

At this point you can pick your consistency.  I wanted a good amount of texture to my soup, so I decided to go with some pureed, some chopped, and some left as is.  You could absolutely leave it all as is, or blend it all up nice and smooth.  If you choose to blend it, make sure to use caution.  Always blend hot liquids in smaller batches.  Or is you're lucky and have an immersion blender just use that.

Once you're satisfied with your consistency and everything is back in the pot and the heat is back on, stir in cheese and allow to melt.

Taste seasonings and adjust if needed.  At this point I added a little hot sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Serve in a bread bowl if desired.  But this soup is tasty enough to be served in a regular ole bowl with some crackers.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Get paid to shop???

Have you signed up for Ebates yet??  If you haven't heard of it's it's a Website that pays you a % money back on purchase made on your online purchases.  If you're like me you already do a bunch of online shopping, so you may as well get money back for it.

I signed up a few months ago & I've already gotten a check in the mail.  Plus I got a $10 gift card to Target just for signing up.  You can choose your email options as to if you get notifications from them or not.  They feature great online sales, promo codes, and you can find pretty much any store you'd want to buy something from anyways.

It takes a couple of minutes to sign up, just click HERE.

I just racked up cash back for my Apple TV from Target, my new Michael Kors watch from Nordstrom, new shampoo & conditioner from Ulta, a bunch of novelty toys for a bachelorette party gift, and the list goes on... all things I needed anyway.

If you do any online shopping whatsoever, sign up.  Even if it's just for the $10 Target card!  Who couldn't use one of those??

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


What is this delightful looking pasta you ask?  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies

Have you tried the newest crack in a jar yet?  First there was Nutella.  Need I say more, I mean come on... it's Nutella! But then the blog-o-sphere chatter got louder and louder and everywhere I turned it was Biscoff Spread (a.k.a Speculoos) this and Biscoff Spread that.  I probably should have heeded the warnings.  Many bloggers out there said, "don't do it!" "say away" "Hide your spoons, hide your knives!" 'cause this stuff is addicting in a major way!  I mean what part about pulverized cookie spread doesn't sound addicting??  I tried to resist.  I walked by the tempting little glass jar at the store many times.  Looked at it many times.  Picked it up several times.  Put it back several times.
Until one day.  One spoonful at a time.  Wow.  This stuff is good!  Too good.

After a few weeks and about have the jar, I figured it was time to make something yummy out of this stuff and end the spoonful madness.  As luck would have it, this recipe popped up on one of the blogs I follow My Culinary Story.  I loved that I had everything on hand to make them.  They were really easy to make and the only slight modification I made was to sprinkle them with sea salt right out of the oven.  YUM!  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup Biscoff spread
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a few pinches of sea salt for tops of cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a bowl whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, add the butter, Biscoff spread, sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Chill the dough 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Form the cookie dough into rounded tablespoons and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden and just firm around the edges.  Sprinkle with sea salt immediately upon removing from oven. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove with a spatula onto a cooling rack.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nailed It!

this is a little thing I like to call Pinspiration...
Apparently I saw these awesome nails on Pinterest and stashed them into my subconscious, 'cause I didn't even realise that they were my inspiration until after I had created my version.

pinkurock's version:

Pinned Image

My version:

Pinned Image

Not a carbon copy, but I'd say more of a loosely based on.  The pink is Essie "Cute as a Button" and the Black & White is a Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bacon, egg & cheese "cupcakes"

How cute are these little guys!?!  I saw these HERE and decided to give them a try.  I love when I see something online and I go into my kitchen and discover I have everything to make it.

So I'm not sure if you noticed, but I have a soft spot for cupcakes.  What's not to love about individual treats that are cute and tasty??  Well this is all of your favorite things about breakfast in a cupcake costume.  When Mr. B took a look at his plate he was like, "well what are these little goodies?"  Once he cut one open he actually gasped, "It's even more spectacular when you cut it open!"  Yeah, that much enthusiasm out of him & I know it was a success!  

These don't really require a recipe, just some assemblage and preparation of ingredients.  The amount you need will vary depending on the number of mouths you are feeding:

Biscuit Dough - Homemade, from a boxed mix, or premade will do.  If you are going the easy route (why not go that route??) and want to use premade, do me a favor... STOP buying the canned refrigerator biscuits.  The frozen ones are SO much better!  They taste almost like homemade (unlike the canned ones) and you can pull 2 or 10 out of the bag and back into the freezer they go. *For this recipe pull them out and let them defrost while you get the rest of the ingredients together.

Eggs - Prepair however you usually make your breakfast scrambled eggs.  My tip, low and slow makes soft creamy eggs.  No hard rubbery eggs here!

Breakfast meat of your choice - You can use bacon, ham, or sausage, or even a combination.  I went with bacon.  Chopped and fully cooked.

Cheese - Use any chees you have on hand.  I chose grated colby jack.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out one biscuit, and top with your prepared toppings.  Crimp seams together creating a stuffed dough ball.  Place in lined cupcake pans seam side down.

I sprayed the tops with a little bit of olive oil and a light sprinkling of sea salt.  Bake 15 min or until golden brown.

How cute is this!  Give them a try, your Mr and/or your littles will be glad you did! Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Avocado Burritos

By no means am I a vegetarian.  Honestly, I could never give meat up.  well, red meat maybe, but never chicken or pork.  Hello, can you imagine a life without bacon?!?!  It would be a dull, sad, lonely place.  Having said that, once in awhile we like to have a tasty meatless meal.  Why, I'm not actually sure, but if done right you don't even miss the meat in a dish.

These burritos were just right.  Easy, tasty, and guilt free.  You can adjust and customize these about 100 different ways, but here's what I did:

Black Bean Avocado Burritos

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup black beans
Pico de gallo or fresh salsa
1 avocado
tortillas (the bigger the better for folding purposes)
a bit of cheese (I used Monterey Jack)

Pre heat panini maker.

While rice is cooking, heat and season beans.  I use a can of plain black beans, mostly drained with a little bit of water.  Add a spoon full of salsa/pico de gallo, some salt, pepper and garlic.  In a separate dish, smash your avocado.  I like to keep it simple, with just a little salt, pepper, garlic and cumin.

Into a tortilla add, rice, beans, salsa, guac, and cheese.  Roll, tuck and fold ends to make a nice little burrito.  Repeat until burritos are assemble.  Place 2-3 into the panini maker at a time.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wall Decor

We got our new bedroom furniture 2 years ago & I have been looking for above the bed wall art this whole time.  I've seen many different DIY art projects that I liked, but nothing I had the motivation to follow through on.  I've looked at countless pieces of completed wall art, but nothing that really did it for me.  I knew I wanted something mostly DIY for this wall.  Finally after 2 years I was "Pinspired"!  I saw THIS and knew it would be simple to recreate.

Things fell into place when we were helping my dad move and we came accross the perfect frame to go with our bedroom.  I ordered the bird decals on Etsy from Decorette.  The next step was to convince the ever skeptical Mr. B that this would be a good idea.  To my surprise, he was all for it.  And after I got it on the wall he was pretty pleased with the results.  I absolutly love the out come!  It was so simple and cost me less than $30!  Can't beat that! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn

This delightful stuff has been floating around Pinterest for awhile now.  A big THANK YOU to blogger Chef in Training for introducing this easy & oh so naughty snack to the world!  And despite my BFF's WARNINGS not to make this addictive little treat, I couldn't help myself.  We'll blame it on the newly acquired popcorn machine! 

Since we were having a few friends over for a BBQ & Mr. B was having fun playing with his toy, after he'd popped up 3 or so batches of popcorn, I decided it was time to try this irresistible looking treat.  So, into the kitchen to gather the few necessary ingredients.  Luckily I had basically everything on hand.  Unfortunately, I only had a small amount of mini marshmallows left, which sent me into a near panic, until I discovered the jar of Marshmallow Fluff in the fridge!  Phew, that was a close one!
So glad I finally made this!  Also glad I chose to make it when there were 9 other people to help us eat it.  A whole batch of this to yourself would be a DANGEROUS thing!  Make this, share this, enjoy this!


1 bag of microwavable popcorn
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of brown sugar
2 Tbls loght corn syrup or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
12 large marshmallows

Prepare popcorn making sure to remove any stray kernels (if you are fond of your teeth, you really shouldn't skip this step!)  Melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, extract and marshmallows.  Turn heat to medium and stir until marshmallows are melted, no lumps!  Pour over popcorn and stir in until popcorn is evenly coated.

Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Who am I kidding, there will most likley be NO leftovers to store!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Meatless Monday: Veggie Patty Parmesan

Sometimes on a hot day I just don't feel like going to the store after work.  Yesterday was one of those days!  Dinner time is so much easier when you prepare in advance.  Someday day I'll be that person who has my meals planned out a week in advance.  But not today.

My first thoughts yesterday evening included: I don't know what to make for dinner, we have nothing for me to make, and finally I give up!  After a few moments of pity party, inspiration hit me. We purchased THESE Veggie Patties at Costco the other day.  They are Don Lee Farms Veggie Patties. I was pleased to see that the ingredient list did not include anything that sounded like it came from a chemists lab.  Mr. B is quite please with them and takes them to work for lunch.  He always eats them as a burger, on a bun, but I got inspired to do something a little different with them for dinner. 

With the addition of some whole wheat pasta, fresh spinach, some marinara sauce, and a little Parmesan cheese, I threw together a Veggie Patty Parmesan.  It was easy as can be and dinner literally came together in 15 min!

Veggie Patty Parmesan
(This was for 2 servings.  Could easily be changed to serve more!)

2 Veggie Patties
2 cups (+/-) Marinara Sauce
1 cup Whole Wheat Pasta
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook veggie patties according to directions.  While patties are cooking, boil pasta.  Once pasta is cooked and drained, toss in a pot with 1/2 of the marinara sauce and the spinach.  Divide into individual servings on plates.  Place cooked veggie patty on pasta, top each patty with remaining marinara sauce, and a sprinkling of cheese.  In fifteen minutes you have a tasty meal that you can feel good about.  Enjoy!


Friday, June 8, 2012

There are few problems in life that can't be solved or at least helped a little by a big plate of cheese for dinner.  Sometimes tasty cheeses, fruit, crackers, a little wine, and good friends can make even the worst of days seem just a little more bearable.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simple Shredded Chicken

It doesn't get any easier than this tasty Mexican style shredded chicken!  On a hot day there's nothing better than coming home to a dinner that it practically done.  Hot, delicious & no need to turn on the oven!  How so?  The crockpot!  Most of the time we tend to only pull out the crock pot during the cold winter months... but warm days are perfect for your slow cooker, since it doesn't heat up the kitchen.  And with the beautiful weather outside, anything that minimizes the time spent in the kitchen preparing dinner is a friend of mine!

I threw all the ingredients in at lunch time & came home to a house that smelled great!  A few quick steps at that point and dinner was on the table in 15 min.

Simple Shredded Chicken
This can easily be doubled - this amount fed 2 of us with PLENTY of leftovers!

3 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
1 jar of salsa
about 3/4 of a beer
2 cups of chicken broth
desired seasonings

Combine all ingredients in crock pot.  I chose a medium heat southwest salsa that had black beans and corn in it.  For the seasonings I went with a couple tsp of taco seasoning, fresh ground pepper & garlic.  The lid went on & I set it to high for 6 hours, since that's when I would be returning home.

When I got home, I removed the chicken from the crock pot and dropped them into my Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mixed for a few seconds and had perfectly shredded chicken.  

Return chicken to crock pot and prepare what ever it is you'd like to use this yummy filler for!  We had chicken tacos & tostadas.  Warmed some tortillas, shredded some cabbage and whipped up some smashed black beans.  Served with desired toppings and we had a fantastic meal!  Enjoy!